(This is the fourth story in the first section and is a continuation of a scenario we were given from which we had to mould a story. The scenario involved rushed driving to a hospital, lots of angry stares, rushed parking and then the opening of the ICU door. That is where the following continues from.)
I push open the doors to the ICU and I see him lying there, helpless. Tears well into my eyes as I am pushed out by an attendant standing near the door. I try to struggle but my strength has waned by the sight of him, lying all alone, injured, bruised and weakened. I collapse and the attendant places me on a chair. I have a group of people standing around me, but I don’t see them. I only hear their accusing voices as I cry.
Suddenly, a woman walks through the angry mob and asks them to quiet down and go away. They try to argue but I hear her stern voice penetrate through the crowd and they leave, muttering. She then comes near me and asks me who I am and why I am here. Unable to reply, I just mumble a few incoherent words. I just get snatches of what she’s saying and she asks for my car keys, and without hesitating, I hand them to her absent-mindedly, too overwhelmed by the situation I’m in. She gives them to a guard who’s present and then comes back to me.
By that time, I try to gather myself and when she comes near me again, I ask her to let me go into the ICU. I tell her my brother is inside and that I need to see him. She pats me on the back and leads me in. As I go in, I take off my shoes, and rub hand sanitizer on my hands. All this time, my eyes are on him. Slowly and gradually, I take painful steps towards him as his appearance makes me wince. His face is dark with bruises and his right arm is covered with burns. The rest of his body is covered by a white sheet. I am horrified as it seems to me to be a white sheet covering a corpse. He is unconscious and his breathing is labored. An attendant is standing next to his bed, and as he sees me, he moves away.
I sit on the chair placed near the bed and grab my brother’s wounded and half-burnt hand. I cry and through the blurred vision, I can see a multitude of wires and machines beeping. I look back at my brother and think that at the cost of his own life, he saved others. I was informed by a phone call that our apartment building had caught fire and that while saving others, and having saved many already, my brother had been trapped inside and had been injured and had received severe burns before he had been rescued. I grab his hand more firmly than before and I feel his labored breathing stop. I hear a beeping sound go off. The attendant rushes to the bed’s side and begins to check the machines and my brother’s pulse. Indifferent towards his presence, I lower my head and am blinded with tears as I think, “You would have been proud. I am.”